Before and after underpass

Before and after underpass

In case you aren't familiar with the Downtown Memphis Commission, they are the official partnership between local government and the downtown business community. The DMC implements a variety of initiatives to make Downtown more fun, walkable, clean, safe, active and interesting. For instance, they coordinate brigadiers to welcome Memphis visitors, commission local artists to make Downtown beautiful, and employ downtown security officers to keep us safe. You can check out the DMC's new website to learn more.

One major effort they started about 5 years ago is "Anti-neglect and anti-blight initiatives." The DMC works aggressively to bring neglected and blighted Downtown properties back into active uses.  Whether it be broken doors or windows, damaged or derelict signs, or other signs of neglect, they use a variety of methods that look to push owners of vacant properties to either provide proper maintenance for, demolish, sell or put back to full use their properties. 

Specifically, the DMC works with property owners to help them shore up their blighted properties by offering incentives, connecting them with developers, installing public art and lighting to improve aesthetics, and ultimately, working with their anti-blight attorney to pursue owners of long-term blighted properties.

Larry Chan, Planning and Development Analyst for the DMC gives us an update on their year-end review of Anti-blight initiatives. Check out the presentation he gave at the February DMC Board meeting which overviews major legal cases they've led, multi-million dollar incentives they've offered, and art they've commissioned.